Kildare Post Gardening Column – Getting to work in the garden

Below is one of my gardening columns that appeared in this weeks edition of the Kildare Post. I should point out that when I wrote this article I was hopefully for a nice dry sunny long weekend but that has truly been dampened (No Pun intended!) by the lovely rain we have now! While the rain is great and much needed because everything did need a serious soaking, it does not help getting other jobs done this weekend! An edited version of the below post appeared in print on 29 July 2014.

Getting to work in the garden By David Corscadden

With the lovely long weekend fast approaching, there will be lots more time to get jobs done in the garden that really need to be done. Here are just a few jobs that will keep your hands mucky this week.

Prune Back Roses

Early roses will have finished flowering by now and should be pruned back to remove the shoots which have already flowered. This will encourage new growth and hopefully a second flush of flowers in the coming months. It is also important to remove any dead or diseased material as you go along.

Time to trim

It just about time to get out and trim back shrubs and bushes. It is extremely important however to be watchful for bird nests which are still occupied. If you find any ensure you avoid them and leave cutting back for another few weeks.

Feed, Feed and Feed

Now that we are in the height of the growing season, both in the flower garden and the vegetable patch, it is important to keep feeding plants. This should be done every week to ten days as plants reach full maturity. I am a fan of using liquid tomato feed on both floral beds and down the vegetable patch.

IMG_6176Offer Support

Now that plants are reaching maturity, some will start to become top heavy and will need supports put in place to ensure they do not fall over and break. Plants like dahlias and sunflowers will be very susceptible at this time of the season.

Pick at it’s Best

When it comes to this time of the year in the vegetable patch it is a constant march between the garden and the kitchen with produce. It is vital to stay on top of harvesting and pick crops at their optimum time. Freeze and preserve what will not be used straight away. With herbs and soft fruit it is very important to harvest when they are ripe. Both of these will freeze extremely  well for use later in the year.

Prepare for the Future

With the winter fast approaching, even if we don’t want to think about it, preparation now will be key to success later in the year. The time to plant winter crops and plan for the winter months planting is now. Doing the prep work now will save time later on.

An Idea for Next Year

IMG_6217

On my recent trip to Hampton Court I came across this brilliant idea I wanted to share with you. Within the walled kitchen garden of the palace I came across this interesting alternative to plant labels. Here they used terracotta pots with the name painted on. This made for a practical and decorative item in the garden.

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